SPONSORED:

House lawmakers indefinitely postpone return to Washington

House Democratic leaders will indefinitely postpone their return to Washington as a precautionary measure amid rising anxieties over the fast-moving coronavirus.

The House was scheduled to return to the Capitol on March 23, but Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGOP blocks Schumer effort to adjourn Senate until after election GOP noncommittal about vote on potential Trump-Pelosi coronavirus deal Overnight Health Care: Trump takes criticism of Fauci to a new level | GOP Health Committee chairman defends Fauci | Birx confronted Pence about Atlas MORE (D-Calif.) and Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerTop Democrats introduce resolution calling for mask mandate, testing program in Senate Trump orders aides to halt talks on COVID-19 relief This week: Coronavirus complicates Senate's Supreme Court fight MORE (D-Md.) told rank-and-file Democrats on a conference call Monday that they’ll postpone that date, according to several aides familiar with the leadership message.

"Hoyer said for sure not Monday, and he will update them about the rest of the week," one aide said, noting that potential cancellations of domestic flights may also play a role. "This is all pending domestic travel situation too."

ADVERTISEMENT

While discussing the need for more relief packages, leaders also explored the possibility of staggering future votes so all 435 members are not on the House floor at the same time.

The message arrives as Washington policymakers are scrambling for an appropriate response to the coronavirus outbreak, which has killed thousands of people around the globe — more than 60 in the United States — and hammered global economies.

Earlier this month, Congress passed an $8.3 billion package largely aimed at the immediate health concerns related to the pandemic. House lawmakers on Saturday passed economic stimulus legislation designed to ease the financial stress on those most directly affected.

Pelosi is negotiating with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinGOP blocks Schumer effort to adjourn Senate until after election GOP noncommittal about vote on potential Trump-Pelosi coronavirus deal On The Money: Sides tiptoe towards a COVID deal, but breakthrough appears distant | Expiring benefits raise stakes of stimulus talks | Stocks fade with eyes on Capitol MORE on technical corrections to that economic stimulus, which the Senate is expected to take up.

Meanwhile, lawmakers are already eyeing another emergency coronavirus relief package designed to help industries and businesses that have been hit hard by the deadly outbreak.

ADVERTISEMENT

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerTrump to lift Sudan terror sponsor designation Ocasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts The 2016 and 2020 Senate votes are about the same thing: constitutionalist judges MORE (D-N.Y.) on Monday floated a massive $750 billion economic relief package that will include funding to expand hospital capacity, boost Medicaid and expand unemployment insurance for workers who lose their jobs as a result of the crisis.

Rep. Peter DeFazioPeter Anthony DeFazioTrump says talks on COVID-19 aid are now 'working out' Trump gambles with new stimulus strategy Trump infuriates business groups by halting COVID-19 talks MORE (D-Ore.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is sounding alarms related to one industry in particular: the nation’s airlines. He warned on Monday’s conference call that the industry is facing a crisis more severe than the one that followed the 9/11 attacks.

DeFazio “talked about making sure any assistance to airlines puts workers first, and there should be conditions to ensure assistance isn’t used for CEOs or stock buybacks,” said a source on the call.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter DC correspondent on the death of Michael Reinoehl: 'The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it' Late night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study MORE, joined by top public health officials, addressed the country Monday afternoon for the second time in four days to roll out several new initiatives designed to shore up the sinking economy.

“Our government is prepared to do whatever it takes,” he said.

Updated at 4:11 p.m.